By Alexandra Fabian, PICPA manager, government relations
It’s that time of year again, as the days are getting shorter, when we find ourselves wondering where the year went. It doesn’t seem possible that the months have passed so quickly, but, nonetheless, here we are again reflecting on our progress before we close another calendar year.
We who help manage the CPA-PAC – Pennsylvania’s sole CPA political action committee – are extremely grateful for the generous contributions to the CPA-PAC from PICPA members and firms. But we are not quite at our goal, and we are super eager to reach our fundraising target.
A major election year is coming on fast, and we have only collected about 85% of the contributions needed to reach our $190,000 goal. Consistently, less than 5% of PICPA’s more than 20,000 members contribute to the CPA-PAC. That small slice of our membership carries the weight for the other 95% of PICPA members. Can you imagine the impact we’d have if those percentages were reversed? Simply put, as a profession that holds a high degree of trust and respect, we need to do better. We are encouraging PICPA members to consider making a donation, of any amount, to the CPA-PAC before Dec. 31, 2019. No portion of annual membership dues go toward the CPA-PAC; in fact, by law, we must rely solely on independent (noncorporate) contributions to help fuel the efforts of our political action committee.
On Nov. 5, voters across Pennsylvania decided who won government positions that impact their day-to-day lives. Contests were decided for local, county, school board, and judicial races. While not necessarily high profile, these “off-year” races determine who sets property taxes, the direction of schools, and who will decide questions regarding housing or retail developments in your communities. I encourage you to view the election results for your community.
As I’m sure you are aware, 2020 is set to be a monumental year with a high-profile presidential election at the top of the ticket. We must ensure the CPA profession will be well-protected, and we must begin those efforts now. As you can imagine, starting out the year short of our fundraising goal will hamper our efforts. In this ever-changing political environment, where nothing is certain, we hope you will make an investment in your profession. The political environment is turbulent, and we must ensure that any changes that come will benefit of CPAs in Pennsylvania.
The PICPA has had several priority issues during the current 2019-2020 legislative session. They are as follows:
- Amend the state’s tax reform code to allow a combined income tax return for
an estate and revocable trust – This year’s tax bill, Act 13 of 2019, included a change championed by the PICPA. The provision, which was originally House Bill 706, allows a fiduciary to make and file a joint tax return for an estate and trust for the taxable years when the trust income is reported as part of the estate income.
- Combat delicensing efforts – Pennsylvania has experienced a first step in the licensing alteration movement. Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Act 41 of 2019, which requires licensing boards and commissions under the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to provide licensure by endorsement to applicants who hold similar licenses in other states.
- Establish a 10-year tax collections statute of limitations – A proposal that has already passed the state House is working through the state Senate establishes a 10-year time period during which the state must collect taxes administered by the Department of Revenue.
- Clarify new and complicated withholding obligation on Pennsylvania businesses from Act 43 of 2017 – We are working on a proposal in the legislature that would streamline the 1099-MISC withholding requirements of nonresident income.
Help us make sure you have a voice in political matters that impact your profession, clients, and employers. Please invest in the CPA-PAC today.
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